I did not know what to expect from Victor Wooten and Sinbad‘s Fun ‘N Funk Xplosion Tour’s stop at the Amaturo Theatre at the Broward Center for the Arts, but at the least I knew I would experience an evening of great music. Victor is one of my favorite musicians to see live and I have seen him in many iterations, both with his own band and with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. This show was something completely original.
First of all, who knew that Sinbad is an accomplished musician? I certainly did not… I am familiar with him as a comedian, but he played percussion, saxophone and trombone, as well as sang!
Ever since the first time I saw The Oh Hellos at Newport Folk Festival, I try to see them whenever they are in town (wherever my current town may be), so I was delighted when they announced a show at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale!
I was even more delighted when a band to whom they introduced me several years ago in Boston, Family and Friends, was announced as the opener!
There is so much history in the Memphis music scene, and three of the elder statesmen of that scene headlined a stupendous show titled Take Me to the River at the Parker Playhouse over the past weekend.
These three gentlemen – William Bell, Bobby Rush, and Don Bryant – are 78, 84, and 75 years of age, respectively, but none of them show any signs of slowing. We were in the presence of music royalty and we knew it. And we appreciated it!
Everybody knows at least one of Jimmy Webb‘s songs even though they may not know his name. That was not the case with the full audience at Crest Theatre at Old School Square where everyone did know his name.
We were rewarded with a great evening of both stories and songs, mostly from his earlier days as a songwriter.
I ‘only’ saw 172 shows last year, which is the lowest number since 2013 (it was late in 2013 that I started this website). Nevertheless, it still made choosing my top ten shows difficult.
As always, I do not include sets from festivals because the energy at a festival adds so much to an artist’s performance that it is unfair to compare festival sets to ‘regular’ shows. This year, however, I make mention of some sets at festivals that were especially fabulous.
I am a relatively new (meaning the past eight or nine years) fan of Steve Earle and The Dukes and try to see him every chance I get, so I was thrilled to be able to cover the rescheduled show at the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale. The band had originally been scheduled to do a south Florida tour that unfortunately coincided with Hurricane Irma… The show was to be held at the Parker Playhouse which was previously booked this night so they partnered with the Auditorium to present it this night.
It was only after I met Carlos Averhoff, Jr. that I realized I also knew his father (although not personally) – the great Cuban saxophonist Carlos Averhoff who was one of the founders of the Afro-Cuban jazz group Irakere. Carlos Senior passed away almost a year ago, and I was fortunate to attend a tribute to him at Florida International University recently.